Managing & Reforming Modern Public Services
The Financial Management Dimension

By Malcolm Prowle
April 2010
Pearson Education
ISBN: 9780273722816
420 pages, Illustrated
$99.50 Paper original


As government borrowing and debt reaches record levels, public services, for the first time in over 30 years of unprecedented growth in spending, face the prospect of real cuts in their funding

In these challenging times, Managing and Reforming Modern Public Services; The Financial Management Dimension shows you how to manage the financial resources of public services most effectively drawing on best practice from both public and private sectors

Managing and Reforming Modern Public Services;The Financial Management Dimension considers all public service organisations from central government and local government to trusts and charities with a particular focus on health and education


List of figures
List of tables
List of case studies
Glossary of terms and acronyms

Part 1: The organisation and development of public services

1  Introduction: public services and the public sector

·  Introduction

·  Public sector and public services: provisioning and financing

·  Growth and development of  the UK public sector

·  Configuration of the public sector and public services

·  The importance of financial management in public service organisations

·  Structure of the book

2  Financing public services

·  Introduction

·  Patterns of public  expenditure

·  International perspectives

·  Sources of public services finance

·  Taxation

·  User charges

·  Government borrowings

·  Other sources

·  Framework of public expenditure

·  Planning and financing of public services

·  Allocating resources to public services

3  Public service trends and the impacts on financial management practices

·  Introduction

·  Brief history of public service reform

·  Aims and nature of public service reform

·  Causal factors of public service reform

·  General themes of public service reform

·  The impact of public service reform on financial management practices

Part 2: Financial Management of Public Services: Key Aspects

4  Costing and costing systems in public service organisations

·  Introduction

·  Using cost information in PSOs

·  Basic principles of costing

·  Obtaining cost information in PSOs

·  Future public service trends and their impact on costing systems

·  Developing costing systems: the way forward

5  Managing strategic change in public services: The financial management contribution

·  Introduction

·  Major strategic changes in public services

·  The management of strategic change in public services

·  Strategic planning in public services – commissioners and providers

·  Implementing strategy

·  Monitoring strategy implementation and outcomes

·  The key roles of financial management in strategic management

·  Strategic financial management – some relevant techniques

·  Cost and income benchmarking

·  Activity based costing and management

·  Financial modelling

·  Capital investment appraisal techniques

6  Budgeting Systems and budget management in public service organisations

·  Introduction

·  The roles and purposes of a budgeting system in a PSO

·  Types of PSO budges

·  Main elements making of a budget system

·  Budget framework

·  Budget setting process

·  Budget reporting system

·  Resource allocation models and the budgeting process

·  Programme analysis and budgeting

·  Variations in PSO budget arrangements

7  Pricing public services

·  Introduction

·  The distinction between costs and prices

·  Business pricing and economic pricing

·  Why pricing is important in relation to public services

·  Business prices and economic prices

·  The nature and structure of pricing decisions

·  Key Strategic pricing factors

·  Cost inputs into pricing decisions

·  Pricing strategy and the marketing mix

·  Special factors related to pricing in PSOs

·  Individual pricing decisions: tactical considerations

·  The financial management roles in pricing

8  Improving performance in public services: The financial  management contribution

·  Systems of performance management

·  What constitutes performance in PSOs

·  Using performance information

·  The role of benchmarking

·  Improving performance in public services

·  Performance management and improvement: The financial management roles

n public services organisations

10  The nature and role of financial information systems in public service organisations

·  Introduction

·  General Structure of information systems

·  Management information systems and PSOs

·  Financial information systems in PSOs

·  Key characteristics of financial information systems in PSOs

·  Developing financial information systems in PSOs

·  The financial management involvement in the acquisition of IS/IT

·  Key management challenges regarding IS/IT in PSOs

11  Financial control and governance in public service organisations

·  Introduction

·  Frameworks of financial control in PSOs

·  Audit arrangements in PSO

·  Internal audit arrangements

·  External audit arrangements

·  Internal and external audit compared

·  Other audit bodies

·  Specialist audit activities

·  Corporate governance arrangements

·  Audit implications of PSO governance requirements

12  The organisation and staffing of the modern public service finance function

·  Introduction

·  The organisation of the PSO finance function

·  The Roles and responsibilities of the PSO  director of finance

·  Staffing of PSO finance departments

·  Strategic trends in PSO finance functions

·  Organisational change in the finance function

Part 4: Looking ahead

13  Future trends in public services; The implications for financial management

·  Forces for change – Political, economic, societal  technological

·  Implications for public services

·  Implications for public service financial management

List of relevant web sites



Macolm Prowleis Professor of Business Performance at Nottingham Business School and Visiting Professor at the Open University. With over thirty years experience of public sector financial management he has been a visiting consultant to the World health organisation and an advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee.  

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